Losing Your (Cable) Vision
The news that an SCV price hike of its subscription packages (more news here) has hit a sour note with its consumers is hardly surprising. Hardest hit are those who subscribe to its sports package, which sees a $10 per month increase from next month. Reactions from existing customers have ranged from anger, to resentment and resignation. Those who decided to drop their subscriptions even found that they have to pay a penalty as stated in their long term contracts.
What I found interesting was that some consumers have even stepped up and gave feedback to SCV on what kind of services they actually preferred and how SCV could address their needs. The company instead explained why it needed to raise prices in an increasingly competitive environment and went out of its way to debunk ideas that it was a monopoly.
That’s where it gets me.
Sure, SCV has its competitors – Mediacorp free-to-air TV broadcasts and M2BWorld video-on-demand, for example. But for the consumer who have likely subscribed to an SCV sports package to watch the English Premier League, there’s simply no other choice. No one else has the licence here to broadcast EPL live matches. That sounds like a monopoly to me. By all means, the cable provider has a right to increase prices. But perhaps it may want to avoid insulting our intelligence.
Granted, by the letter of the law the cable provider has every right to force its increased prices upon consumers based on the terms and conditions of the contract. It also has the right to extract a penalty if subscribers chose to cancel their subscriptions.
But my point is this – the long-term trust it has with its existing customers is now irreparably broken. Potential new subscribers will now hesitate to sign up, unsure if the company may later decide to move the goalposts in its contract later in the future.
In this case, I wonder if SCV has scored an own goal.
Finally, when your customers give you feedback, it pays to actually sit down and listen. Many other companies pay good money on market research to find out exactly what they are telling you now for free.
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